On Fighting For Your Life

Picture I took of in a boxing gym in Cuba. Rough!
Boxing ring in Havana, Cuba. Rough!

Most of the comments online about Mixed Martial Arts female champion Ronda Rousey’s recent defeat are of people talking smack about her so what follows is my imaginary pep talk for her (or anyone fighting for their dreams.)

Ronda you worked hard.

You gave it your absolute best.

And despite all your work and effort it wasn’t your night.

But you are exactly in the right place at the right time. I know it doesn’t feel that way now. It probably feels more like you’re in the middle of a cold winter. But seasons always change. And Spring ALWAYS follows winter.

You’ve been through the worst already.

You’ve been through the endless training.

You’ve fought your way to the championship.

Now all that’s left to do is get up one more time.

I heard Les Brown say,

“When you get knocked down make sure you land on your back because if you can look up, you can GET UP!”

 

Despite getting knocked down, you’re in a perfect situation. You have something to fight for. It’s the people who haven’t found something to fight for who are in trouble. These are the people Benjamin Franklin was probably thinking about when he said,

“Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”

 

This defeat will have whatever meaning you want it have.

You can see it as a career ending or as an opportunity to become the greatest female fighter to ever step into the arena.  Failing does not make you a failure. It’s only a failure if you don’t learn from the experience.

But you’re different. You made a decision to live in the arena and not in the stands. You were not born to be a spectator and not a commentator. You are warrior in and out of the arena.

Teddy Roosevelt said,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Now you have to decide if you want to keep fighting in the arena and most importantly in your head. If you decide to step into the ring again, you have to fight like your life depends on it. Everything great that you want to achieve requires fighting like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

Life is not going to surrender and hand you victories. Life is testing and preparing you for greater victories.  You have an incredible opportunity to learn how to turn this defeat into your greatest victory. And from the pain of losing you can find the fuel to win.

The best news is that life is on your side. But it’s up to YOU, though, to tap into that will to win again.

 

Being a champion is a decision, followed by a mindset, and completed by a daily commitment. You don’t owe anything to anyone. This is your  life, your fight, and your decision to win.

Whether you climb back into the ring or not, you will need to fight. But now you have to decide if you’re going to be a champion in the ring as well as outside. Regardless of how you feel or what you think,  Spring is coming.  All you have to do is be ready.

 

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